Zimbabwe: Probe into Mugabe’s stolen birthday gifts begins

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Two cabinet ministers from President Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and a string of top officials are under probe on allegations of stealing Mugabe’s birthday gifts in February.

The internal investigation into the allegations centre on Tourism and
Hospitality Minister Walter Mzembi, Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Stan Mudenge and Masvingo provincial governor Titus Maluleke.

Zanu PF insiders say 30 tonnes of sugar, an unknown amount of cash,
livestock and various other presents were supposed to be handed over
to the ageing Mugabe at his birthday bash in Bulawayo in February but
two months down the line, the gifts are still missing.

”Mudenge, Mzembi and Maluleke allegedly received gifts and money from
party members in Masvingo and converted both gifts and cash to personal use” insiders say.

“A lot of people managed to steal one or two things from the donations. We suspect that less than half of the resources donated found their way to the intended destination,” said the insider.

The trio were heading a fund-raising team that had been tasked to canvas for funds and gifts, among other things, to be donated to the veteran leader on his birthday.

Mugabe’s birthday has over the years been celebrated by Zanu-PF as a
national event annually.

No stone would be left untuned, Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial chairman
Lovemore Matuke vowed on Wednesday.

“A crack probe team has been set up. The allegations into the theft of Mugabe’s gifts are overwhelming and no stone would be left unturned,” he said.

“There are some big names that might include ministers but it would be
premature for us to name them now. We want the investigation to be over first,” said Matuke.

Mzembi says the allegations were emanating from his political enemies in Zanu PF his hands are clean.

“These are just the works of my enemies within the party. I did not
abuse anything meant for the President. Let them investigate and I
know I will emerge clean,” he said

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